A new statewide group, the Coalition to Protect Ohio's Parks, was kicked off today, in an effort to preserve Ohio's state parks and forests by keeping out industral activities like natural gas drilling and by changing a new state policy that allows commercial logging in state parks.
The new group was unveiled at an afternoon press conference in Columbus.
Chief backers are the Ohio Environmental Council, the Sierra Club, Mohican Advocates and the Buckeye Forest Council.
Recent emails show that the Ohio Department of Natural Resoucres has consulted with drillers on lease terms and conditions, while ignoring the concerns of park users and advocates, the eco-groups say.
The Ohio Legislature last year opened most public lands for drilliung and opened state parks to commercial logging.
The state has not proceeded with drilling in state parks, wildlife areas and forests, in part because of questions about mineral rights ownership by the state in those areas.
The state last fall prepared a list of 30 parks, forests and wildflife areas in eastern Ohio where drilling may be permitted. But that list is not official and not yet released, officials said.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.